the contextual life

LibraryWhat does it mean not to finish a book? To lose interest, steam, momentum? When distraction leads to forgotten plots, characters, and themes who suffers, the reader or the book left unread?

My apartment is teeming with unfinished books. They cover my desk, coffee table, and nightstand. They sit two rows deep on my bookshelves. There they remain, neglected, misunderstood, unappreciated, still with the last read page firmly marked with a piece of paper, a subscription card, or a proper bookmark: a reminder of my stagnation, my failure to engage.

With some I’d read only a few pages, others a few chapters, while others I’d nearly finished but inexplicably abandoned at the last moment. Not all books I set aside are bad; life gets in the way, my mind shifts, I am no longer the same person I was on the first page.

What if I had begun a few…

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Best Kept Secret – Jeffrey Archer

Best Kept SecretInfo from Gooreads.com, please scroll down for my review, beware, may contain spoilers.

New York Times bestseller Jeffrey Archer continues his beloved Clifton Chronicle series as Harry and Emma finally begin building a happy life—but a dangerous family enemy is about to resurface.

Best Kept Secret opens a moment after the end of The Sins of the Father, with the resolution of the trial and the triumphant marriage of Harry Clifton and Elizabeth Barrington, finally uniting their family. Harry, now a bestselling novelist, Emma, their son Sebastian, and orphaned Jessica make a new life for themselves, but all is not as happy and secure as it could be. Emma’s brother, Giles, is engaged to a woman who may be more interested in Barrington’s fortune and title than in a long and happy marriage. And Sebastian, though he is bright, isn’t quite the hard worker that his father was at school, and finds a hard time resisting the temptations that his somewhat unsavory friends provide.

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Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural – Paula Cappa

Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the SupernaturalInfo from Gooreads.com, please scroll down for my review, beware, may contain spoilers.

There’s no such thing as a dream within a dream. Poe was wrong. Dreams are deep shadows between reality and illusion. In the haunted Abasteron House, artist Kip Livingston dreams of a mysterious winged being, all bone and muscle and greedy teeth plunged out. Until one night when her dreams break through the illusion and the nightmares become reality.

The characters:
Kip Livingston is a stunning young artist living alone in Abasteron House on Horn Island, painting her dreams every day. But inside this antique house by the sea, another power rules her nights. What does this fierce winged creature want? Is it haunting her from the secrets of her past … or for her destiny?

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Tidal Force – Erik Daniel Boudreau

Info from Gooreads.com, please scroll down for my review, beware, may contain spoilers.

Disheartened former psychiatric researcher Dr. Richard Elliott spends his days sifting through some of Washington, D.C.’s more unfortunate crime victims, while trying to forget the life he left behind. Until a series of mysterious suicides puts him at the heart of a shocking White House scandal and a scientific discovery that could change the world. Finding his own life now very much in danger, Richard realizes that the key to unlocking the mystery lies with his former colleague—and ex-fiancée—Dr. Diane Foster.

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The City of Dark Magic – Magnus Flyte

City of Dark MagicInfo from Gooreads.com, please scroll down for my review, beware, may contain spoilers.

Cosmically fast-paced and wildly imaginative, this debut novel is a perfect potion of magic and suspense

Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.
Soon after Sarah arrives, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. Could his cryptic notes be warnings? As Sarah parses his clues about Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” she manages to get arrested, to have tantric sex in a public fountain, and to discover a time-warping drug.

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